CORNELIUS, N.C., Tuesday, April 4, 2006 -- They say that everything is bigger in Texas. That said, this is the biggest weekend for Hall of Fame Racing and the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet. Consider the list of "Texas connections": *Co-owner Roger...
CORNELIUS, N.C., Tuesday, April 4, 2006 -- They say that everything is bigger in Texas. That said, this is the biggest weekend for Hall of Fame Racing and the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet.
Consider the list of "Texas connections":
*Co-owner Roger Staubach won two Super Bowls in the 1970s as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
*Co-owner Troy Aikman won three Super Bowls in the 1990s as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
*Tony Raines, driver of the No. 96 DLP Chevy, won a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at TMS in 1997.
*Terry Labonte, who drove the No. 96 DLP Chevy in the first five races, is from Corpus Christi, Texas.
*Philippe Lopez, crew chief for the No. 96 DLP Chevy, is from San Antonio, Texas.
*Bill Saunders, managing partner for the No. 96 DLP Chevy, is from Dallas.
*DLP HDTV, a division of Texas Instruments, is based in Dallas.
Raines will be driving his second race of the season in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevy. He started 12th and finished 21st in last week's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.). He will make only his second Cup start at Texas, but this one will be much more high-profile than in 2003 when he started 34th and finished 42nd after engine problems.
"I have certainly met a lot of (Dallas) Cowboy fans recently," Raines said. "I told someone recently if we can run well and make them proud, that would be a pretty neat situation. To make two competitors like Troy (Aikman) and Roger (Staubach) proud of their race team and our efforts, that's my goal. Making DLP happy with our performance will also keep Roger and Troy happy which makes me happy and everybody will be smiling."
Team officials are already smiling after a solid start to the season. The No. 96 DLP car is 29th in owner points, impressive for a team that didn't have a race car just six months ago. Consider that the No. 96 DLP car is ahead of two cars from Evernham Motorsports and one car from Bill Davis Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Petty Enterprises and the Wood Brothers, teams that have been in Nextel Cup racing since at least 2001.